Is Job Hunting About Quality or Quantity?

                Looking for a job, regardless of whether one is employed or unemployed, is not easy. The question that I wrestle with as an unemployed job seeker is the following: is the number of jobs that I apply for or applying for a job that fits my professional past and hopeful professional future more important?

                Someone arguing for quantity would state that the more jobs one applies for, the greater chance there is of being contacted for an interview. If Jane Doe is looking for a job and she applies to ten jobs over the course of an average day, she may receive an email or a phone call for about 1/3 of those jobs (which is utterly frustrating, but that is another topic for another time). The numbers are not ideal, but the more the jobs that she applies for, the greater chance that Jane has for being called for an interview.

                Someone else arguing for quality would state that it is a waste of time to apply for a large number of jobs. A job seeker’s precious job-hunting time is better spent on the quality of the jobs, making sure that they are a good fit for the position. However, there is something to be said for taking a chance and applying for a job in which an applicant might have some, but not all of the qualities and/or experience that the employer is requesting. It might be just enough to secure an interview and have the opportunity to sell yourself as the right candidate for the position.

                The question is, which matters more: quantity or quality?  My experience says both quantity and quality are equally important in the hunt for a new job. The more applications that a job seeker sends out, the more employers are likely to review their resume and possibly consider them as a viable candidate. However, it is also as important to apply for a job that the candidate can present themselves as a good fit.    

Readers, what do you think? Which is more important: quantity or quality when it comes to the job-hunting process?

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Is Job Hunting About Quality or Quantity?

  1. V

    Coming from someone who’s been looking for a full time gig since January (and who has only managed to secure part time work since January) right now, I think it tends to be more about dumb luck then anything else.

    Millennials are the most highly education generation to date. Tied together with a generation older than us that doesn’t want to retire and is working to older and older ages, and a generation younger than us, fresh onto the scene that employers are able to pay little or nothing for them to work (internships) it puts millennials in a spot where our experience and education aren’t worth a whole lot. Especially when I look at LinkedIn stats (I have the premium membership) and I’m seeing that several hundred people are applying for simple/basic, smaller town/city positions. The number of applicants get so much higher when you get into big-city jobs.

    I’m finding that it’s all about luck, and maybe timing. With a degree, several certifications and ten years experience, it really doesn’t seem to matter how many resumes I send, or how high of quality they are. Companies either put you in a yes pile or a no pile right off the bat.

    That being said, I’ve also heard people say that the task of applying for jobs online has allowed the employers to either keep your resume or eliminate you based on your ability to use their buzzwords directly in your resume or cover letter.

    Whatever it might be (I’m not a hiring manager so all this post is just speculation) it’s sure making job hunting a long and tedious task.

    Sorry for rambling so much.

    Like

  2. Looking for a job is not easy- I do agree

    Like

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